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Neonatal Community Outreach Service launched to care for babies and families

A new service with the aim of reducing the length of hospital stay for babies born prematurely and their families has been launched this week at University Hospital Coventry.

The Neonatal Community Outreach Service (NCOS) enables babies and their families to be cared for at home.

NCOT will care for babies in the community who require nasogastric tube feeds, home oxygen and home phototherapy.

The team will work across the three neonatal units within our Health and Care Partnership (HCP) system, UHCW, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and George Eliot Hospital, Nuneaton, to ensure a smooth transition from hospital to home.

Once babies are discharged, the NCOS will provide regular assessments and visits to babies and their families in the home environment.

This could include weight monitoring, supporting the transition from tube to oral feeds, weaning home oxygen and obtaining bloods required for home phototherapy.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Gillian Wood said: “We hope this service will improve families’ experience on their neonatal journey.

“Early discharge of babies home reduces mother and baby separation and improves breastfeeding rates and maternal mental health.”

Babies will be under the care of NCOS for up to four weeks but will only be discharged when the team are confident there are no ongoing concerns.

Should they feel further specialist support is required, NCOT will make a referral to the appropriate community children’s nursing team.

Ten-day old Teddy Brooks from Allesley Village, Coventry, became the service’s first patient this week, when he was discharged from the hospital's neonatal unit. Mum Jyoti said she was excited to be taking him home under the care of the specialist team.

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